New Delhi: “There can’t be a better team than CSK to play for and better captain than Mahendra Singh Dhoni,” said veteran leg-spinner Piyush Chawla after the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bought him for Rs 6.75 crore, making him the costliest Indian buy at the IPL auction which took place Thursday.
Chawla’s long-time association with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ended last month when he was released by them. He was no more a certainty in the KKR playing XI with Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine being ahead of him in the pecking order.
“As a player, you always want to be with a good team, play under a good captain and you can’t have a better team than CSK and a better leader than Mahi (Dhoni) bhai. I can’t ask for more,” Chawla told this agency late Thursday night from his hometown Moradabad.
The Aligarh-born cricketer, who was part of India’s World Cup winning squads in 2007 (T20) and 2011 (ODI), experienced butterflies in the stomach ahead of the auction but he was not at home to catch the action on television. He has so far played three Tests, 25 ODIs and seven T20s for India. His last international game was in December 2012.
Chawla revealed that KKR communicated of their decision to release him well in advance and he has no hard feelings towards the franchise.
“It all depends on the combination. The KKR think-tank probably had a different combination on their mind. On the Eden Gardens wicket now, there is not much for the spinners,” informed Chawla.
“They also told me that ‘we are looking for fast bowlers and there is no point having three quality spinners in the team’ and that is why they released me. So there is no bad blood between us. It is all in a healthy way,” said Chawla, who now plays Ranji Trophy for Gujarat, having moved from Uttar Pradesh.
Chawla is thankful for the faith Dhoni and the CSK team management has showed in him but his place in the XI is not a given, considering the presence of Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja in the CSK squad.
“It is too early to talk about that (my place in the eleven). Chennai is a big ground, it will certainly suit my style of bowling. Not many people know that I have played a lot of club cricket in Chennai in the past 12 years,” Chawla pointed out.
Chawla said that he getting a good price reaffirms that leg-spinners never go out of fashion. He also expected CSK to bid for him.
“As you said, we (leggies) never go out of fashion. It is always the attacking option. You are bound to go for runs in T20s but also have a chance to take wickets. Last auction also CSK had bid for me, so I was expecting them to do that again,” Chawla stated.